Who wants free wood? Pretty much anyone who does woodworking right! Well, there is a catch, like anything else that is free. What I am talking about using Pallet Lumber. All over the world there are free pallets, and some of them have some great wood. I was so intrigued with collecting and re-cycling pallet wood at one time in my life, I wrote a business plan for starting up a Pallet Furniture Manufacturing business. What I discovered was, there is often a lot of waste in trying to salvage pallet wood, there is a big cost in acquisition (finding the pallets), the wood is extremely hard on all woodworking tools, particularly jointers and planers because of all the ground in dirt and small rocks. But for individual woodworkers who are aware of the problems of working with pallet woods, there can still be many rewards.
During the process of writing the business plan, I had the opportunity to collect and break down pallets into useable wood, and I tried many different methods of breaking down or disassebling the pallets. This video represents what I found was the easiest and most effective way of breaking pallets down ....
The first thing to understand about pallet wood is that there IS going to be lots of waste, and your challenge in who to minimize that waste.
Another point is that not ALL the wood you will use needs to be long wood. You will encounter lots of areas where shorter pieces of wood will work fine.
The last thing that is important to note is that most of the thinner cross member boards on a pallet will have been split at the ends by nailing.
Once you know all of the above, the method of cutting off the bottom of the pallet as I have shown in the video will start to become clear, and finally, when the pallet bottom is off, we flip the pallet right side up and with a circular saw, trim off the ends of the long boards exposing the main long boards that can now be easily "worked" then the wood pried off with a wrecking bar.
I know many people who collect pallets, and few if any use this method. It has been tried many times and it works great.
Copyright - Colin Knecht